Jack GERMAIN

Obituary
  • "I am saddened beyond words to hear of Jack's passing. The..."
    - Diane Manassero Frieders
  • "I was Brick to Jack's Big Daddy. I have always relished..."
    - Greg Stirnaman
  • "Jack was a great help in establishing the Coloma Crescent..."
  • "I am very saddened to hear of Jack's passing. Jack was one..."
    - Jody Wills
  • "Jim and I both worked with Jack on Senator Jim Nielsen's..."
    - Patricia & Jim Branham


GERMAIN, Jack

Jack a 25-year resident of Shingle Springs and long-time staffer in the California legislature, died on May 23, 2013, in the New Bern, North Carolina home of his daughter, Suzanne Selzer. In his final years, he battled Lewy Body disease, a combined form of dementia and Parkinsons. He was 81 years of age. Jack was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1931. Losing both of his parents before the age of 13, he left high school early to join the United States Navy. He served from 1950 to 1954, with assignments on Guam and aboard ship during the Korean War, earning the bronze star. Honorably discharged in San Diego, Jack remained in southern California, married Jule Moffatt, the sister of a shipmate on June 6, 1953. Jack returned to school and trained as a journalist. He soon landed opportunities to be a beat writer, feature writer, and sports editor for several local newspapers. He was an award-winning writer for the Alhambra Free Press, recognized by the Associated Press as an excellent investigative journalist. As a member of the Monterey Park Junior Chamber of Commerce, Jack had a vision of a track and field event that would bring senior high school athletes from across the country together in a national competition. The Jaycee's, following his vision, organized the first annual Golden West Invitational in 1960. When Jack subsequently relocated to Sacramento, the invitational meet found a new home in the capital city. That vision is going strong 54 years later, with Golden West alumni having been part of every U.S. Olympic track team since 1984. Jack moved his family to Sacramento in 1964, started the Pacific Coast News Service, and became part of Capitol press corps. In 1968, he migrated from the news room to the legislative arena and was proud to serve over a 20-year period in numerous capacities under Governors Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan, Senators Craig Biddle, George Deukmejian, Jim Nielsen, and Ollie Speraw, and Assemblymen Jesse Unruh and Bob Monagan. Jack was a founding director of the Coloma Crescent Players and was active for many years in the Old Coloma Theater, an amateur theatrical group dedicated to old west melodrama. He also served as president of Theater El Dorado, a community group which took its production of Spoon River Anthology to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Among his notable roles was Big Daddy in Theater El Dorado's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Jack gained notoriety as an accomplished actor, writer, director, and coordinator for all things related to the performing arts in El Dorado County. After leaving government service, Jack acted as consultant and advocate for many groups needing advice on how to navigate the obstacles of California politics. One of these groups was VisionQuest (VQ), an organization dedicated to providing an alternative to juvenile incarceration. As a consequence this role, Jack and Jule made several visits to the VQ facility near Elfrida, Arizona. During these visits, they came to appreciate the scenery, weather, and overall attitude of southern Arizona and ultimately moved to Sierra Vista. Unfortunately, Jack lost his Jule to melanoma in 1996, and would soon move on. Over the next several years he spent time in Ohio, touring Canada with a Christian Theater group, getting remarried and settling just outside of Tampa, Florida. When his health deteriorated, he made his last move to North Carolina just a short time before he would take his final bow. He is preceded in death by his father Raymond Sr., his mother Dorothy (Higgason), his brother Raymond Jr., and his wife and companion of 43 years, Jule (Moffatt). He is survived by his second wife Marilyn (Simmons) of Brandon, Florida, son Daniel of Elk Grove, California, daughter Suzanne Selzer of New Bern, North Carolina, son David of Sierra Vista, Arizona, twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also mourned by his shipmate, matchmaker, and brother-in-law, Wes Moffatt and his wife Sandra, of Garden Grove, California. No services are planned locally. Those who wish to honor the memory of Jack Germain are encouraged to contribute to, or participate in, any local performing arts or youth athletic organization, or the Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on June 4, 2013
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